Maliki Seeks to Limit Power of Sunnis, Kurds

Power-Sharing Would Lead to 'Catastrophe'

Seeking greater control over the nation for his majority Shi’ite bloc, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is calling for a reduction of the nation’s power-sharing agreements, which were designed to assure that the Sunni Arab and Kurdish minorities of the nation had some say over the nation’s government. Maliki said “consensus” was necessary in the era immediately after the US invasion, but that now it was a “catastrophe” which had to give way to “majority rule.”

Iraq was already dealing with growing Sunni unrest against the Shi’ite led government and the Kurdish bloc has been at odds with Maliki over his “Support Councils.” Maliki’s power play may reflect his gains in the provincial elections earlier this year, which safely solidified him as leader of the Shi’ite bloc, but it seems to be ignoring the rising violence in the nation over the past two months.

Having seen some modest relief from the sectarian strife of years past, the government may well be driving the Awakening Councils back into the insurgency, as well as strengthening Kurdistan’s ambition for growing autonomy. All this at a time when the Obama Administration is trying to shift more of its troops out of Iraq and into Afghanistan.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.